have you considered consulting with an independant appraiser? i call
on a local (but widely recognized) appraisal company for info.
perhaps there is, in your locale, an appraiser who can advise you on
what you are buying, based on what he/she sees in the industry.
another suggestion would be to have diamonds memo-ed in from as many
dealers as will do this for you. thiat way, you could make an
educated, objective decision about what you are getting vs. what you
for what it's worth, i typically use vs/f-g melee, and have found
that below about $450/ct, the cut consistency is compromised. most
recently, i paid $575/ct for this quality, and the make was
exceptional...."ideal", in as much as melee can be qualified this
way. usually, i pay more like $525/ct for this quality, with good+